What is the Difference Between Personal Injury Case Managers and Paralegals?
Bill Allen | January 3, 2023 | Personal Injury
It is devastating to suffer from an injury that changes your life. Whether it happened in a second or over time, it may be hard to take the first step to get legal help. Luckily, many personal injury law firms have caring staff like lawyers, case managers, and paralegals to talk with you.
If you’re in Ocala, FL, calling Allen Law Firm is a great place to start. But, you may be wondering about everyone’s role.
What is a Paralegal?
A paralegal is a professional trained to help a lawyer with legal work. Many paralegals know a specific area of the law, like personal injury, family, or criminal law. They help lawyers with routine legal tasks, like reviewing discovery and filing documents.
In Ocala, many paralegals are registered under the Florida Bar Registered Paralegal Program. The Florida Bar makes rules for paralegals. Like lawyers, paralegals must follow a code of ethics and professional conduct. Registered paralegals must have particular education and experience working as a paralegal.
Paralegals Help Lawyers Prepare for Litigation
Paralegals are different from case managers because paralegals help the lawyer with the legal process. This means that they prepare for litigation instead of meeting with clients.
If another party injures you, your lawyer will file a complaint with the court. This complaint is an official document that starts a personal injury lawsuit. It states the grounds for the lawsuit and request for damages so that all parties are on notice. Your paralegal will help the lawyer draft and file the complaint and communicate with the court.
Many cases also involve insurance companies, particularly car accident cases. A paralegal will likely file claims and begin the conversation with the insurance company.
Paralegals Oversee Discovery
Throughout a personal injury case, both parties must share information with one another. This process is called discovery, and it gives lawyers a chance to prepare for trial. During discovery, lawyers can conduct depositions, see documents, and inspect evidence.
The paralegal oversees the coordination of discovery by:
- Scheduling and preparing for witness depositions,
- Sending interrogatories to the opposing party,
- Drafting and responding to discovery requests,
- Reviewing and organizing discovery.
Paralegals often work behind the scenes and don’t speak up in court like lawyers, but they are essential. They help lawyers with routine tasks so that lawyers can be more productive.
What is a Case Manager?
A personal injury case manager talks with clients. The case manager usually meets with clients during intake and listens to their story. They help clients set up treatment for their injuries and serve as a direct point of contact with the law firm.
Case Managers Coordinate Between Doctors and Lawyers
Case managers also help clients navigate medical treatment and get legal help, at the same time. This can be confusing after suffering an injury. Particularly when it means follow-up appointments, visiting many doctors, and court deadlines. Not to mention signing releases and calling doctor’s offices to get records can be a headache.
Case managers help clients with these tasks. They find doctors and specialists to help you receive quality care. They request medical records and serve as a point of contact between the lawyer and the doctor. This is life-changing for clients overwhelmed after an accident.
Case managers also help get testimony from doctors like surgeons and psychologists. They may track down emergency medical care providers and anyone who is a good witness. This means working with the paralegal to build the strongest case as a team.
A Comprehensive Personal Injury Legal Team in Ocala, FL
Though paralegals and personal injury case managers are different, they both play a role in a personal injury lawsuit. Without either, a personal injury lawyer may become overwhelmed. It is important to hire a lawyer with an experienced team to assist and keep you updated on your case.
If you’re located in Ocala, Florida, our team at Allen Law Firm is ready to help you through your case. Contact us for a free consultation today.
Contact Our Ocala Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Ocala personal injury lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: